Online Gambling includes sports betting, online casinos, and virtual poker. It is the fastest growing industry in the world. However, many countries still have laws against gambling.
In the United States, the Federal Wire Act prohibits the illegal transmission of bets or information relating to sporting events or contests. Some states also have laws against internet gambling. These are generally based on the Constitution.
Some of the most common federal criminal statutes implicated by illegal internet gambling are the Illegal Gambling Business Act and the Wire Act. Other laws, such as the Travel Act, may be relevant.
The First Amendment’s Commerce Clause may be a barrier to enforcing these laws. Generally, attacks on this principle have not succeeded. But, with the advent of the Internet, it is possible that the Commerce Clause may be able to serve as a barrier to state enforcement of these laws.
Another argument against these laws is the Constitution’s Due Process Clause. This clause protects citizens from being deprived of their property or privacy, even if the activity is not in the individual’s control.
There are also concerns about the use of the internet to move illegal gambling into a state’s jurisdiction. For example, in January 2010, federal marshals seized $3.2 million from Discovery Communications, which ran ads for a casino called Tropical Paradise.
In 2012, a New York court held that the “act of entering a bet” is a gambling activity in New York. This opened the door for states to legalize sports lotteries.